Two-button neat jacket

The two-button neat jacket is unassuming, relaxed. It’s an example of few materials — fine wool-cashmere, crisp cotton, buttons of natural corozo — combined in a straightforward manner, and a sign perhaps that the adage about wool being no good for summer needs a rethink.

Wool being no good spring or summer is an oft-cited nugget of supposed sartorial wisdom, but overlooks so many of the whys and wherefores of woolen textiles, and the manifold possibilities therein, so as to render itself all but nonsensical. It seems to neglect, for instance, capra aegagrus hircus yorkshirus — better known as the cashmere goat, the affable beast that donates its fine-haired hide to the lightweight and ever cool-to-touch component of the pin-dot wool-cashmere, used to make the two-button neat jacket.

Comprising multifarious shades of light and mid-grey, and with a fine off-white weft running through it, it’s a product of a cashmere mill in West Yorkshire, in the north of England. It is soft and lightweight, drapes very elegantly, and is a stranger to creases.

Another determinant of a cloth’s seasonal suitability is how it is put to use. Cloth of distinction needs no dressing up; better instead to let it speak for itself. The jacket, then, is pared-down. The placket is hidden, with just the top two buttons on show, while pockets, save for the chest patch, are tucked out of sight in the side-seams. More obvious functionality is inside: a foolscap pocket for document or newspaper storage, and a shallow, wide pocket for easy and possibly absent-minded dropping of keys and so on.

Just about visible here is the concealed part of the placket, which is set back from the main placket. Each button hole on the concealed placket is separately compartmentalised.

The jacket makes sparing use of the cloth; no extraneous details or layers. There is therefore surprisingly little weight to it. It’s also loose-fitting and unstructured; tailoring of the relaxed variety. And nowhere is the jacket more relaxed than at the shoulders, which are dropped. Dropped shoulders means that the shoulder seams don’t sit on the natural shoulder, but further down the arm: a hallmark of workwear from eons past.

With more-generous-than-average sleeve facing, the cuffs may be rolled up a few times without revealing the lining. Worn here with a pair of dusty green notch-back cord trousers.

The grey wool-cashmere version of the two-button neat jacket is here and at 1 Cleve Workshops on Boundary Street (keep scrolling down) in very short supply from today.